Letter to the editor: Bon Appetit responds to student reaction on dining

Collegian file photo.

Dear Butler Community,

Since the start of the academic year, Butler Dining has made several changes to the campus food community. Many of these exciting shifts were sparked by a year-long study Butler did back in with a national foodservice consultant prior to our arrival on campus.

The study looked at all aspects of Butler’s dining program and included invaluable feedback from students, as well as members of the wider campus community. That study eventually led to our arrival on campus, but more than that, it shed light on the campus community’s desire to enhance the overall dining experience and helped shape the approach we have taken to dining at Butler.

It taught us that the Butler community was interested in a dining experience that stressed fresh produce, whole grains and lean and plant-based proteins, as well as cooked from scratch meals featuring ingredients sourced from local farms and fisheries as often as possible. We have worked to create chef-driven menus, a wide variety of dining offerings, and allergen-free and vegan food options.

We also know that the Butler community is diverse, has different needs, desires and wants from its dining offerings a result, we have made sure we provide variety across campus. Here’s a snapshot of what that looks like:

  • Plum Market Kitchen at C-Club: Offers a variety of healthier food choices with an emphasis on natural, organic and locally crafted items. The goal is to elevate the convenience store experience with chef-crafted, healthy options. 
  • Trip’s Corner Market: Located at Apartment Village, offers a variety of traditional snack and food options, as well as an all-local section featuring Farm to Fork partners. Some options include jumbo candy bars, Lay’s chips, Pop Tarts, and Post and Kellogg brand cereal. 
  • The Nutrition Café at HRC: Offers a variety of items crafted to help you recover and prepare for a workout. This location has protein-packed snacks, as well as nutritionally-dense grab-and-go meal options. 
  • The Butler Brew: Located in the atrium of the Andre B. Lacy School of Business, offers local Julian Coffee Roasters coffee, frappes and teas. It features a variety of freshly made to-go salads and sandwiches, as well as breakfast sandwiches, and pastries from local Illinois Street Food Emporium.
  • The Marketplace at Atherton Union: Offers an all-you-care-to-eat café in which you can use any type of meal swipe. Features eight stations.
  • ResCo Café: Offers burgers, pizzas, wings and salads in a traditional retail café. 

We are still new to campus, but we have worked in our first semester to bring positive change and variety to Butler.  

But we are certainly not perfect. Most recently, with the opening of Plum Market, we have heard concerns about overpriced items. The best interests of our campus community are of the utmost importance to us, so we take these matters very seriously. 

We are working to review feedback and improve the dining experience for our campus community. Here’s a preview of the steps we will be taking in response to what we have heard since Plum Market opened:

  • Conduct a price analysis of the convenience store merchandise to identify improvement areas and make adjustments to inventory based on feedback.
  • Create a Student Dining Committee as a vehicle for direct student feedback and continued collaboration on dining plans (contact Kathy Shellog at kshellog@butler.edu if you would like to join).
  • Meet with SGA to inform students about all dining options on campus.
  • Launch a new texting service in Spring 2020 as a way to gather direct feedback.

We take your feedback seriously and will continue to work closely with our campus community to make sure all feedback is heard, and then appropriate changes are made when possible. 

Thanks for coming to us with your concerns, as that is the only way we can all move forward positively. To learn more about our offerings and how to use your meal plans, visit our website at butler.cafebonappetit.com. 

 

Thank you for reading,

Joe Graves

General Manager, Butler Dining

Joe.graves@cafebonappetit.com

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